History Podcasts

Hawker Hunter Mark 59

Hawker Hunter Mark 59

Hawker Hunter Mark 59

The Hawker Hunter Mark 59 was the designation given to 46 Hunters sold to Iraq during a thaw in relations between that country and Britain in the mid 1960s.

Iraq had first received the Hunter in 1957 when sixteen F.Mark 6s had been provided from RAF stocks using American funding. These aircraft may have played a part in the July 1958 coup that overthrew King Faisal II and put in place a left-wing government led by Brigadier General Abdul Karim Qassim. Qassim moved Iraq closer to the Soviet Union, and as a result arms sales from Britain came to an end.

Qassim was overthrown in February 1963 and replaced by Colonel Abdul Salam Arif. He was more acceptable to the west, and his government was able to successfully negotiate the purchase of more Hunters. The first order was for fifteen ex-RAF F.Mk 6s, to be delivered as the F.G.A.Mk 59. This order was soon increased to twenty-four aircraft, and was followed by a second aircraft for eighteen similar aircraft, to be delivered as the F.G.A.Mk 59A between November 1965 and May 1967. At the same time an order was placed for four aircraft to be delivered as F.R.Mk.59Bs between May and September 1966. This gave Iraq a total of 46 newly converted ground attack aircraft and sixteen fighter aircraft, as well as five T.Mk.59s.

The Iraqi Hunters fought in the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, in both cases operating as top cover for other aircraft flying ground attack missions. They were also used as ground attack aircraft during the Yom Kippur War and during early stages of the Iran-Iraq War, where they are believed to have dropped chemical weapons.


Contents

Origins Edit

Geoffrey de Havilland, the company's owner and founder, had sought to produce a light aircraft superior to two of his previous designs, the de Havilland Humming Bird and de Havilland DH.51. [3] From earlier experience, de Havilland knew the difficulty and importance of correctly sizing such an aircraft to appeal to the civil market, such as touring, trainer, flying club and private aviation customers the firm had great success with a scaled-down version of the DH.51, the de Havilland DH.60 Moth. [3]

The starting point for the DH.82 Tiger Moth was the de Havilland DH.71 Tiger Moth. [4] de Havilland had developed successively more capable Gipsy engines, and the company had produced a new low-winged monoplane aircraft to test them. This aircraft became the first aircraft to be referred to as the Tiger Moth. [5] Improvements made on the Tiger Moth monoplane were incorporated into a military trainer variant of the DH.60 Moth, the DH.60T Moth – the T coming to stand for 'Tiger' in addition to 'Trainer'. [4]

The DH.60T Moth had several shortcomings, and thus was subject to several alterations, such as the adoption of shortened interplane struts in order to raise the wingtips after insufficient ground clearance was discovered while it was undergoing trials at RAF Martlesham Heath. [4] As a result of the Martlesham trials, a favourable report for the type was produced, which in turn led to the type soon being formally adopted as the new basic trainer of the Royal Air Force (RAF). A single prototype, designated the DH.82 Tiger Moth, was ordered by the British Air Ministry under Specification 15/31, which sought a suitable ab-initio training aircraft. [4]

One of the main changes made from the preceding Moth series was improved access to the front cockpit since the training requirement specified that the front seat occupant had to be able to escape easily, especially when wearing a parachute. [6] [4] Access to the front cockpit of the Moth's predecessors was restricted by the proximity of the aircraft's fuel tank, directly above the front cockpit, and the rear cabane struts for the upper wing. The solution adopted was to shift the upper wing forward but sweep the wings back to maintain the same centre of lift. [7] [4] Other changes included a strengthened structure, fold-down doors on both sides of the cockpit and a revised exhaust system. [6]

On 26 October 1931 the first 'true' Tiger Moth, the prototype E6, conducted its maiden flight at Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware, London de Havilland Chief Test Pilot Hubert Broad was at the controls during this first flight. [8] [4] Shortly thereafter construction of the first 35 production aircraft for the RAF, designated K2567-K2601, began following the issuing of Specification T.23/31 in addition two float-equipped seaplanes, S1675 and S1676, were built according to Specification T.6/33. [4]

Production Edit

The Tiger Moth quickly became a commercial success, and various models were exported to more than 25 air forces of various nations. [4] In addition to the military demand, aircraft were also produced for the civil market. At one point the flow of orders for the Tiger Moth effectively occupied almost the entirety of de Havilland's capacity to manufacture aircraft, and little capacity could be spared to accommodate domestic customers. [9] In 1932 de Havilland also developed an affordable air taxi from the Tiger Moth using almost all of the main components of the former in combination with a new plywood fuselage seating four people in an enclosed cabin, it was marketed as the de Havilland Fox Moth. [10] Following the end of all manufacturing, third parties would occasionally re-build Tiger Moths to a similar configuration to the Fox Moth, such as the Thruxton Jackaroo. [11]

In late 1934 50 Tiger Moths of a more refined design, sometimes referred to as the Tiger Moth II, were delivered to the RAF these aircraft saw the adoption of the de Havilland Gipsy Major engine, capable of generating 130 HP, and the use of plywood decking on the rear fuselage in place of traditional fabric covering the stringers. [12] Throughout the period 1934–1936 production activity was centred upon meeting the demand for military trainers, including several contracts having been placed by the RAF to Specification T.7/35 along with export orders by seven overseas operators. [13] Civil examples were also being produced at this time, both for British private customers and to export customers in countries such as Ceylon, Greece, Lithuania, Rhodesia, Peru and Switzerland. [14]

After 1936 the gradual rate of acceleration of Tiger Moth manufacturing had reached the point where production capacity finally became able to exceed the demands from military customers alone. [15] By the outbreak of the Second World War a total of 1,424 Tiger Moths had been completed by both domestic and overseas manufacturing efforts. [16] In 1941 de Havilland transferred principal manufacturing activity for the Tiger Moth from its Hatfield factory to Morris Motors Limited at their facility in Cowley, Oxford. [17]

In 1945 British Tiger Moth production was ended by this point, Morris Motors had completed a total of 3,433 Tiger Moths. [17]

Overseas manufacturing of the type commenced in 1937, the first such overseas builder being de Havilland Canada at its facility in Downsview, Ontario. In addition to an initial batch of 25 Tiger Moths that were built for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), the Canadian firm began building fuselages which were exported to the UK for completion. [16] Canadian-built Tiger Moths featured modifications to better suit the local climate, along with a reinforced tail wheel, hand-operated brakes (built by Bendix Corporation), shorter undercarriage radius rods and the legs of the main landing gear legs being raked forwards as a safeguard against tipping forwards during braking. In addition the cockpit had a large sliding canopy fitted along with exhaust-based heating various alternative undercarriage arrangements were also offered. [18] By the end of Canadian production, de Havilland Canada had manufactured a total of 1,548 of all versions, including the DH.82C and American Menasco Pirate-engined variants (with opposing "right-hand"/"counter-clockwise" rotation to the left-hand/clockwise-running Gipsy Major) known as the Menasco Moth this also included 200 Tiger Moths that were built under wartime United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Lend-Lease orders, which were designated for paperwork purposes as the PT-24, before being delivered onwards to the RCAF.

Additional overseas manufacturing activity also occurred, most of which took place during wartime. de Havilland Australia assembled an initial batch of 20 aircraft from parts sent from the United Kingdom prior to embarking on their own major production campaign of the DH.82A, which resulted in a total of 1,070 Tiger Moths being constructed in Australia. [17] In late 1940 the first Australian-assembled Tiger Moth conducted its first flight at Bankstown, Sydney. Most Australian aircraft were delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) however several batches were exported, including 18 for the USAAF and 41 for the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF). [17]

132 Tiger Moths were completed in New Zealand by de Havilland Aircraft of New Zealand . [19] 23 were built in Sweden as the Sk.11 by AB Svenska Järnvägsverkstädernas Aeroplanavdelning, 91 were built in Portugal by OGMA, and another 38 in Norway by Kjeller Flyfabrikk (some sources say 37 so the first may have been assembled from a kit) in addition to a large number of aircraft that were assembled from kits shipped from the UK. [19] [20] [17]

Design Edit

The de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth is a single-engine biplane light aircraft. It was developed principally to be used by private touring customers as well as for pilot instruction for both military and civil operators. It is typically powered by a de Havilland Gipsy III 120 hp engine later models are often fitted with more powerful models of this engine, while some have been re-engined by third-party companies.

One distinctive characteristic of the Tiger Moth design is its differential aileron control setup. The ailerons (on the lower wing only) on a Tiger Moth are operated by an externally mounted circular bellcrank, which lies flush with the lower wing's fabric undersurface covering. This circular bellcrank is rotated by metal cables and chains from the cockpit's control columns, and has the externally mounted aileron pushrod attached at a point 45° outboard and forward of the bellcrank's centre when the ailerons are both at their neutral position. This results in an aileron control system operating with barely any travel down at all on the wing on the outside of the turn, while the aileron on the inside travels a large amount upwards to counteract adverse yaw.

From the outset the Tiger Moth proved to be an ideal trainer, simple and cheap to own and maintain, although control movements required a positive and sure hand as there was a slowness to control inputs. Some instructors preferred these flight characteristics because of the effect of "weeding out" the inept student pilot. [21]

Introduction Edit

The RAF ordered 35 dual-control Tiger Moth Is which had the company designation DH.82. [22] A subsequent order was placed for 50 aircraft powered by the de Havilland Gipsy Major I engine (130 hp) which was the DH.82A or to the RAF Tiger Moth II. The Tiger Moth entered service at the RAF Central Flying School in February 1932. During the pre-war years increasing numbers of Tiger Moths were procured for the RAF and by overseas customers by 1939 nearly 40 flying schools operating the type had been established, nine of which operated civil-registers models as well. [23]

From 1937 onwards the Tiger Moth was made available to general flying clubs, production having been previously occupied by military customers. The type was quickly used to replace older aircraft in the civil trainer capacity, such as the older de Havilland Cirrus Moth and Gipsy Moth. [15] By the start of the Second World War the RAF had around 500 Tiger Moths in service. In addition nearly all civilian-operated Tiger Moths throughout the Commonwealth were quickly impressed into their respective air forces in order to meet the strenuous wartime demand for trainer aircraft. [16]

Training Edit

The Tiger Moth became the primary trainer throughout the Commonwealth and elsewhere. It was the principal type used in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan where thousands of military pilots got their first taste of flight in this robust little machine. The RAF found the Tiger Moth's handling ideal for training future fighter pilots. Generally docile and forgiving in the normal flight phases encountered during initial training, when used for aerobatic and formation training the Tiger Moth required definite skill and concentration to perform well – a botched manoeuvre could easily cause the aircraft to stall or spin. From 1941 onwards all military and many civil Tiger Moths were outfitted with anti-spin strakes positioned on the junction between the fuselage and the leading edge of the tailplane, known as Mod 112 later on the aileron mass balances were removed for improved spin recovery performance. [16]

Gunnery target drone Edit

In 1935 the DH.82 Queen Bee, a pilotless, radio-controlled variant of the Tiger Moth appeared, for use in training anti-aircraft gunners. Use of the word drone, as a generic term for pilotless aircraft, apparently originated from the name and role of the Queen Bee (i.e. the word drone is a reference to the male bee which makes one flight in search of the female queen bee and then subsequently dies). [24] [25] The DH.82 had a wooden fuselage, based on that of the DH.60 Gipsy Moth (with appropriate structural changes related to cabane strut placement) and the wings of the Tiger Moth II. [26] Queen Bees retained a normal front cockpit for test-flying or ferry flights, but had a radio-control system in the rear cockpit to operate the controls using pneumatically driven servos.

A total of 400 were built by de Havilland at Hatfield and a further 70 by Scottish Aviation. [27] There were nearly 300 in service at the start of the Second World War.

Coastal patrol Edit

In December 1939, owing to a shortage of maritime patrol aircraft, six flights of Tiger Moths were operated by RAF Coastal Command for surveillance flights over coastal waters, known as "scarecrow patrols". The aircraft operated in pairs and were armed only with a Very pistol. The intention was to force any encroaching U-boat to dive one aircraft would then remain in the vicinity while the other would search for a naval patrol vessel which could be led back to the spot. [28] Because they were not radio equipped, each aircraft also carried a pair of homing pigeons in a wicker basket to call for help in case of a forced landing at sea. A 25-pound (11.5 kilogram) bomb was sometimes carried, but there is no record of one being dropped in action. [29]

Anti-invasion preparations Edit

In the aftermath of Britain's disastrous campaign in France, in August 1940, three proposals for beach defence systems were put forward. 350 Tiger Moths were fitted with bomb racks to serve as light bombers as a part of Operation Banquet. A more radical conversion involved the "paraslasher", a scythe-like blade fitted to a Tiger Moth and intended to cut parachutists' canopies as they descended to earth. Flight tests proved the idea, but it was not officially adopted. The Tiger Moth was also tested as a dispenser of Paris Green rat poison for use against ground troops, with powder dispensers located under the wings. [30]

Postwar Edit

In the postwar climate, impressed Tiger Moths were restored to their former civil operations and owners. [31] Accordingly, large numbers of surplus Tiger Moths were made available for sale to flying clubs and individuals. There were also relatively few new light aircraft being manufactured at the time to take its place. [32] Due to the type being relatively inexpensive to operate and the aforementioned factors, the Tiger Moth was met with an enthusiastic reception across the civil market. Additionally it was promptly put to use for various new roles including aerial advertising, aerial ambulance, aerobatic performer, crop dusting and glider tug work. [31]

In the air racing market, a quantity of Tiger Moths were converted to a single-seat configuration, often temporarily. [33] Several aircraft were extensively modified for greater speed these changes included alterations such as the removal of the centre-section fuel tank, alternative fuel tank configurations, all-new elevators, custom-designed fuel injectors, and the recovering of the fuselage with lighter-weight fabric. [34] Three particular aircraft, G-APDZ, G-ANZZ and G-ANMZ, were accordingly rebuilt and were frequently used in international competitions the design changes led to substantially improved performance during inverted flight. [35]

Many ex-RAF examples were imported to the Netherlands during the post-war era and used to equip the Dutch National Flying School at Ypenburg. [36] These aircraft were required by the Dutch civil aviation authorities to be fitted with a larger dorsal fin, incorporating an extended forward fillet to the fin, to provide for additional area this requirement was also extended to privately owned Tiger Moths in the Netherlands. [35]

The Tiger Moth might be confused at first glance with the Belgian-designed Stampe SV.4 aerobatic aircraft which had a very similar design layout both aircraft made use of a similar main landing gear configuration, a slightly sweepback wing, and an alike engine/cowling design. Several Tiger Moths were converted during the 1950s to a Coupe standard, which involved the installation of a sliding canopy over both crew positions, not unlike the Canadian-built Fleet Finch biplane trainers which had worked beside the Tiger Moth in RCAF service as trainers in Canada during the type's wartime years. [33]

After the development of aerial topdressing in New Zealand, large numbers of ex-Royal New Zealand Air Force Tiger Moths built in that country and in the United Kingdom were converted into agricultural aircraft at the time this was a pioneering use for aircraft. [31] In this role the front seat was commonly replaced with a hopper to hold superphosphate for aerial topdressing. A large number were also used to deploy insecticide in the crop-sprayer role, for which several alternative arrangements, including perforated piping being installed underneath the mainplanes or the placement of rotary atomisers on the lower mainplane, were used. [31]

Royal Navy Tiger Moths utilised as target tugs and "air experience" machines became the last military examples when that service purchased a batch of refurbished ex-civil examples in 1956. [37] One became the last biplane to land on an aircraft carrier (HMS Eagle) in the English Channel during the Summer of 1967. On takeoff, the wind over the deck allowed the aircraft to fly but it was slower than the carrier, which turned hard to starboard to avoid a possible collision. [ citation needed ] These planes remained in service until the early 1970s. [ citation needed ]

The Tiger Moth (and, to a lesser extent, the similar Belgian Stampe-Vertongen SV.4) had been often used as a stand-in for rarer aircraft in films, sometimes having been extensively modified to outwardly resemble the aircraft it was depicting. [38] A trio of aircraft were converted by Croydon-based Film Aviation Services Ltd for use in the filming of the 1962 movie Lawrence of Arabia one Tiger Moth became a replica of a Fokker D.VII while two aircraft resembled the Rumpler C.V to depict these types for the film. [38] Several Tiger Moths were used in the crash scenes in The Great Waldo Pepper, standing in for the Curtiss JN-1. [ citation needed ] Thanks to the popularity of the design and the rising cost of flyable examples, a number of replicas (scale and full-size) have been designed for the homebuilder these include the Fisher R-80 Tiger Moth and the RagWing RW22 Tiger Moth. [ citation needed ]

The Tiger Moth responds well to control inputs and is fairly easy to fly for a tail-dragger. Its big "parachute" wings are very forgiving, and it stalls at a speed as slow as 25 knots with power. Its stall and spin characteristics are benign. It has some adverse yaw and therefore requires rudder input during turns. [39] The Tiger Moth exhibits the fundamental requirements of a training aircraft, in being "easy to fly, but difficult to fly well" the aircraft's benign handling when within its limits make it easy for the novice to learn the basic skills of flight. At the same time techniques such as coordinated flight must be learnt and used effectively, and the aircraft will show up mishandling to an observant instructor or attentive pupil. As training progresses towards more advanced areas, especially aerobatics, the skill required on the part of a Tiger Moth pilot increases. The aircraft will not, like some training aircraft, "fly its way out of trouble" but will instead stall or spin if mishandled. However the stall and spin remain benign, again showing up deficient piloting without endangering the aircraft or the crew. These characteristics were invaluable to military operators, who must identify between pilots with the potential to go on to fly fighter aircraft, those more suited to lower-performance machines and those who must be relegated to non-pilot aircrew positions. [ citation needed ]

Because the Tiger Moth has no electrical system, it must be started by hand. This needs to be done with care to prevent being struck by the propeller, which would result in serious injury. Being a tail-dragging biplane, taxiing also requires care. The pilot cannot see directly ahead, so the lower wing can hit obstructions, and it is susceptible to gusts of wind on its inclined, large, upper wing. [39]

The takeoff is uneventful, and it has a reasonable rate of climb. However full power should not be maintained for more than a minute to avoid damaging the engine. [39]

The Tiger Moth's biplane design makes it strong, and it is fully aerobatic. However it has ailerons only on its bottom wing, which makes its rate of roll relatively slow for a biplane and, as stated previously, the ailerons on a Tiger Moth normally operate with a heavy degree of designed-in differential operation (mostly deflecting up, hardly at all downwards) to avoid adverse yaw problems in normal flight. Most manoeuvres are started at about 90 to 110 knots, and it has a Velocity Never Exceeded (VNE) of 140 knots. It is important to lock the automatic slats (leading edge flaps) during aerobatic manoeuvres. [39]

There are two methods of landing. "Wheeler" landing involves pushing the plane on to the runway at a moderate speed with just the main wheels on the ground, with the tail held up until speed reduces. It does not tend to bounce. Unlike most taildraggers, slow speed three-point landings are quite difficult because there is not enough elevator authority to bring the tail down to the correct three-point attitude. [ original research? ] This means that the tail needs to be brought down sharply at just the right speed in order for the angular momentum [ original research? ] to carry it down sufficiently. [39]

The open cockpit allows pilots to move their heads over the side to see the runway during approach and landing. As the aircraft is a tail dragger, it is essential to land it straight with no sideways movement, to avoid ground loops. [39]

One often undocumented feature is that the carburettor de-icing mechanism is activated automatically when the throttle is reduced. This means that when an engine is running poorly due to ice the pilot must reduce power even further and then wait for the ice to melt. [39]


Hawker Hunter Mark 59 - History

Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat

(Variants/Other Names: Crane 1A AT-8 AT-17 C-78 JRC-1)


N65809, a 1943 UC-78 painted to represent an AT-8, and owned at the time by Ron Huckins.
(Photo source unknown. Please contact us if you deserve credit.)

History: First flown in 1939, the Cessna T-50 was that company’s bid for a successful five-seat commercial transport typical of many other aircraft built in the late thirties. While the wings and tail unit were wood, the fuselage was a welded steel-tube design with fabric over wooden skinning. A low-wing cantilever monoplane, it featured a unique retractable tailwheel and wing trailing-edge flaps, both electrically actuated.

The need for a training plane to help pilots convert from single to twin-engine aircraft enabled Cessna to sell 550 aircraft for this purpose to Canada (Under the designation Crane), followed by 33 T-50’s to the U.S. Army Air Corps under the designation AT-8. In 1942, the USAAF felt the T-50s would work well as light personnel transports and for liaison/communication. 1,287 AT-17 Bobcats (later designated as UC-78s) were delivered and served in all theaters of war. Not to be outdone, the U.S. Navy in 1942-43 purchased 67 planes, which they designated JRC-1s, to ferry pilots between delivery ports and transport navy pilots to new duty stations. The T-50 served in these various roles for several years after the war. Over two dozen Bobcats still roam the skies of the USA, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand.

Nicknames: The Bamboo Bomber Useless-78, The Wichita Wobbler Brasshat Double-Breasted Cub Boxkite Rhapsody in Glue San Joaquin Beaufighter

Specifications (UC-78):
Engines: Two 245-hp Jacobs R-755-9 radial piston engines
Weight: Empty 3,500 lbs., Max Takeoff 5,700 lbs.
Wing Span: 41ft. 11in.
Length: 32ft. 9in.
Height: 9ft. 11in.
Performance:
Maximum Speed: 195 mph
Cruising Speed: 175 mph
Ceiling: 22,000 ft.
Range: 750 miles
Armament: None

Number Built:

Number Still Airworthy:


Cessna Warbirds, The War Years (1941-45): The T-50 Bobcat
and the Cessnas Impressed into Military Service

By Walt Shiel

This book details the genesis and evolution of the Cessna T-50 Bobcat from its incarnation as a civilian aircraft throughout its wartime military history. Personal recollections from pilots who flew the aircraft during WW II, a plethora of photographs (some in color), diagrams extracted from the pilot's flight manual, and a collection of Cessna-related wartime ads provide a unique depth of material. It also chronicles the pre-war, single-engine Cessnas that were impressed into military service. The book includes an illustrated overview of Clyde Cessna the man, the aircraft he designed, and the companies he created.

All text and photos Copyright 2016 The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
You may use this page for your own, non-commercial reference purposes only.


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Their short barrels and overall short length make them favorites in any application where maneuverability and ease of handling are priorities.

Simple, rugged, Garand-style action with breech bolt locking system, a fixed-piston gas system and self-cleaning moving gas cylinder gives unparalleled reliability under harsh operating conditions.

Cold hammer-forged barrel results in ultra-precise rifling that provides exceptional accuracy and longevity.

Integral scope mounts, machined directly on the solid steel receiver, provide a stable mounting surface for included scope rings, eliminating a potential source of looseness and inaccuracy in the field.

Accurate sighting system with ghost ring rear aperture sight and a non-glare, protected blade front sight.

Receiver is drilled and tapped for mounting the included Picatinny rail.

Also includes: two magazines Picatinny rail scope rings.

Features listed above are available on all standard models, but may not appear on Distributor Exclusive models. See individual spec sheets for model specific features.


Vermont Drug Task Force makes 59 arrests

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Drug Task Force announces a multi-week arrest sweep that has concluded with the arrests of numerous people accused of dealing drugs throughout Vermont. During the past several weeks, the Vermont Drug Task Force arrested 59 suspects on charges of selling and distributing heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine. The investigations resulted in 53 individual charges of selling heroin, and 43 individual charges of selling crack cocaine, among other charges.

All suspects are charged with state drug offenses and were cited and released with future dates to appear in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Courts across the state. A list of suspects and the charges they face is included at the end of this release.

The Drug Task Force conducts hundreds of investigations annually into various levels of illegal drug activity and is committed to aggressively pursuing those people who sell or distribute these poisonous drugs, or who aid individuals who are selling them. These drugs are dangerous to the person taking them and invite violence into our communities.

At the same time, the Vermont State Police is equally committed to helping individuals find treatment for their addiction, and to assisting them on their path to recovery. During this operation, the task force partnered with the Vermont Department of Health to provide information on treatment and recovery services to those who have a drug dependency.

Law enforcement, public health, education, treatment, recovery supports and community engagement all go hand and hand to help prevent, reduce and eliminate the problems caused by opioid drug use.

The Vermont State Police also has a tip line and asks the public for assistance in reporting drug dealers in their communities. Tips may be submitted online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

The Vermont Department of Health also provides online resources so people can find help and a pathway to recovery: https://www.healthvermont.gov/alcohol-drugs.

The following agencies assisted in this operation Vermont State Police, Brattleboro PD, Winchester NH PD, Bellows Falls PD, Springfield PD, Bennington PD, Rutland City PD, Bennington County Sheriff’s Dept., South Burlington PD, Burlington PD, Grand Isle Sheriff’s Dept., Franklin County Sherriff’s Dept., Essex PD, St. Johnsbury PD and Newport PD.

List of defendants Click HERE for mug shots


Hawker Hunter Mark 59 - History

Despite an estimated one-sixth of the world's men having been circumcised [1,2], it has long been forgotten where or why this most intriguing operation began. The procedure has been performed for religious, cultural and medical reasons, although the last has only become fashionable since the rise of modern surgery in the 19th century. Accordingly, the indications for surgery have surfaced, submerged and altered with the trends of the day. In this review we explore the origins of circumcision, and discuss the techniques and controversies that have evolved since the event has become `medicalized'.

Anthropologists do not agree on the origins of circumcision. The English egyptologist, Sir Graham Elliot Smith, suggested that it is one of the features of a `heliolithic' culture which, over some 15 000 years ago, spread over much of the world. Others believe that it may have originated independently within several different cultures certainly, many of the natives that Columbus found inhabiting the `New World' were circumcised. However, it is known that circumcision had been practised in the Near East, patchily throughout tribal Africa, among the Moslem peoples of India and of south-east Asia, as well as by Australian Aborgines, for as long as we can tell. The earliest Egyptian mummies (1300 BCE) were circumcised and wall paintings in Egypt show that it was customary several thousand years earlier than that [3,4].

In some African tribes, circumcision is performed at birth. In Judaic societies, the ritual is performed on the eighth day after birth, but for Moslems and many of the tribal cultures it is performed in early adult life as a `rite of passage', e.g. puberty or marriage. Why the practice evolved is not clear and many theories have been proposed. Nineteenth century historians suggested that the ritual is an ancient form of social control. They conceive that the slitting of a man's penis to cause bleeding and pain is to remind him of the power of the Church, i.e. `We have control over your distinction to be a man, your pleasure and your right to reproduce'. The ritual is a warning and the timing dictates who is warned for the new-born it is the parents who accede to the Church: `We mark your son, who belongs to us, not to you' [5]. For the young adolescent, the warning accompanies the aggrandisement of puberty the time when growing strength give independence, and the rebellion of youth [6].

Psychologists have extended this theory to incorporate notions of `pain imprinting'. By encoding violence on the brain, child-maternal bonding is interrupted and a sense of betrayal is instilled in the infant these are considered requisite qualities that enhance the child's ability for survival later in life [7]. Indeed, some components of these psychological theories have recently been tested in prospective clinical trials and there is now evidence that neonates who are circumcised without local anaesthetic do have increased pain responses when 4- and 6-monthly vaccinations are administered [8].

Fig. 1. A captured Schemite warrior is circumcised. Engraving
by J. Muller. Reproduced with permission of the Wellcome Institute.

Others believe that circumcision arose as a mark of defilement or slavery [1,9] (fig. 1). In ancient Egypt captured warriors were often mutilated before being condemned to the slavery. Amputation of digits and castration was common, but the morbidity was high and their resultant value as slaves was reduced. However, circumcision was just as degrading and evolved as a sufficiently humiliating compromise. Eventually, all male descendents of these slaves were circumcised. The Phoenicians, and later the Jews who were largely enslaved, adopted and ritualized circumcision. In time, circumcision was incorporated into Judaic religious practice and viewed as an outward sign of a covenant between God and man (Genesis XVI, Fig. 2).

Fig 2. Circumcision is a covenant between God and man.
Reproduced with permission of the Wellcome Institute.

There are many other reasons why circumcision may have evolved. Some have suggested that it is a mark of cultural identity, akin to a tattoo or a body piercing [3]. Alternatively, there are reasons to believe that the ritual evolved as a fertility rite [4]. For example, that some tribal cultures apportion `seasons' for both the male and female operation, supports the view that circumcision developed as a sacrifice to the gods, an offering in exchange for a good harvest, etc. This would seem reasonable as the penis is clearly inhabited by powers that produce life. Indeed, evidence of a connection with darvests is also found in Nicaragua, where blood from the operations is mixed with maize to be eaten during the ceremony [1,10]. (Fig. 3). Although the true origins of circumcision will never be known, it is likely that the truth lies in part with all of the theories described.

Fig. 3 Attendants await to collect the circumcision blood this is to be mixed with maize and eaten in a harvest ceremony. Reproduced with permission of the Wellcome Institute.

From ancient to mediaeval times

Whatever religious or cultural forces drove this practice, historical clues to the surgical aspects of circumcision cane be found by chronicling the medical texts. However, this approach has its limitations: techniques and practitioners were diverse and studying surgical writing alone provides an incomplete reflection of the controversies that are endemic to all times. Furthermore, was it always doctors who performed the procedure in ancient times? Probably not: in biblical times it was the mother who performed the ceremony on the newborn. Gradually mohels took over men who had the requisite surgical skill and advanced religious knowledge. After prayer, the mohel circumcised the infant and then blessed the child, a practice little changed today [11] (Fig. 4a-d). In ancient Egyptian society, the procedure was performed by a priest with his thumb-nail (often gold-impregnated) and throughout mediaeval times it appears to have been largely kept in the domain of religious men [12].

Fig. 4. (a) A Mohel circumcises an infant with his finger nail. (b) An ancient circumcision knife. Collection plate and Scroll of Torah (

300 AD). (c) Instruments and sacred objects of the Enlightenment (1741): Above bistoury, collection plates, anointment and prepuce holder. Below: scrolls of Torah. (d) A Mohel's pocket knife. All reproduced with permission of Wellcome Institute.

Few mediaeval medical texts describe the procedure, although Theodoric (1267) suggests the need for `removal of the end part (penis)' in the treatment of `black warts and tubercles' [13]. He may indeed have been describing circumcision in the context of some penile pathology. However, it is likely that doctors did not perform circumcision until the latter half of the 19th century.

The early 19th century

Brief descriptions of adult circumcision for phimosis start to appear in early 19th century textbooks. Although the surgical techniques tend not to be described in detail, Abernathy (1928) [14] who was a reluctant surgeon) does report the use of the bistoury (knife) to achieve circumcision in men with `gonoccocal phimosis'. He also states that the bleeding should be `stanched with iodoform and boric', possibly indicating that sutures were not applied. Baillie (1833) [15] also describes gonococcal phimosis and recommends that the initial treatment is `nugatory' (inoperative) involving the washing of the penis (and under the prepuce with soap and tepid water, followed by the application of calomel ointment. Abernathy also warns against immediate circumcision in the face of a `morbidly sensitive surface' (and declares that Sir Edward Home agrees with him!). He advocates that the posthitis (inflamed foreskin) should be allowed to `soothe and allay' before surgical intervention. We can assume that the complications recognized by both Abernathy and Baillie were re-phimosis, re-stricture or suppuration what is clear is that circumcision was not a procedure taken lightly at that time. Interestingly, neither author mentions circumcision in the neonate, suggesting that it had not yet significantly entered the domain of English surgeons.

Mid-19th to early 20th century

By the middle of the 19th century, anaesthesia and antisepsis were rapidly changing surgical practice. The first reported circumcision in the surgical accounts of St Bartholomew's Hospital was in 1865 although this comprised only one of the 417 operations performed that year, it was clearly becoming a more common procedure [16]. Indeed, this was a time when surgical cures were being explored for all ails and in 1878 Curling described circumcision as a cure for impotence in men who also had as associated phimosis [17]. Many other surgeons reported circumcision as being beneficial for a diverse range of sexual problems [18]. Walsham (1903) re-iterates the putative association of phimosis with impotence and suggests that it may also predispose to sterility, priapism, excess masturbation and even venereal disease [19]. Warren (1915) adds epilepsy, nocturnal enuresis, night terrors and `precocious sexual unrest' to the list of dangers [20], and this accepted catalogue of `phimotic ills' is extended in American textbooks to include other aspects of `sexual erethisms' such as homosexuality [21,22].

Fig. 5. The scissor technique described by Sir Frederick Treves (1903). Reproduced from [23].

The turn of the 19th century was also an important time in laying the foundations of surgical technique. Sir Frederick Treves (1903) provides us with a comprehensive account of basic surgical principles that remain today [23]. Like most of his contemporaries, he used scissors to remove the prepuce (fig. 5) and describes ligation of the frenular artery as being `mandatory' in the adult. He also warns against the excess removal of skin, as this may lead to chordee.

Treves also maintains that the oppositional sutures of the skin edges must be of interrupted `fine catgut'. Other surgeons chose to use horse-hair or silk [19], but irrespective of variations in suturing materials, all were agreed that a continuous stitch should not be applied. One notable exception was the Master Technician and influential French Surgeon E. Doyen, who headed his own Institute of Surgical Excellence in Paris (L'Institut Doyen). Many foreign surgical trainees passed through his department, and together with his English collaborator H. Spencer-Browne, they described their antihaemorrhagic triradiate continuous circumcision suture line [24]. Three circular sutures of no. 1 silk were applied to achieve `coaptation' of the skin edges, each one third of the circumference of the glans. The ends were not tied so as to allow expansion of the space between the two skin layers if necessary (fig. 6a). A compressing piece of sterilized muslim was then wrapped over the entire distal penis, with a snug hole to allow for the passage of the glans (Fig. 6b). The sutures and the muslin were then removed after 3-5 days.

Fig. 6. (a) The triradiate continuous suture of Doyen (1920). (b) Compressive muslin dressing.

Such variations in suture application aimed at minimizing the most frequent immediate complication of haemorrhage. Indeed, the popular urological text of Charles Chetwood (1921) recommended leaving long interrupted horse-hair sutures so that compressive strips of iodoform and petroleum gauze could be securely tied down over the suture line (Fig. 7a). Variations on what became known as `chetwood's dressing' appeared as recently as Sir Alec Badenorch's Manual of Urology in 1953 (Fig 7b) [25]. This later text is also interesting in that measures to prevent haemorrhage within the first 24 h of surgery included the administration of stilboestrol to prevent erection of the penis. He recommended that this be given at a dose of 5 mg three times daily, beginning one day before surgery and continued for several days afterwards. He also advocated the use of bromide and chloral for similar reasons. It is also interesting that the 1974 edition of Badenoch's Manual no longer included this advice.

Fig. 7. Chetwood's lang horse-hair tethering sutures (1921) and (b) Chetwood's dressing. From [25]

Neonatal circumcision techniques have evolved in parallel. It is clear from most surgical texts that circumcision of the new-born had become a regular request for the surgeon by the later part of the 19th century. For instance, Jacobsen (1893) [26] warns of the importance of establishing a familial bleeding tendency from the mother before circumcision. He describes the case of four Jewish infants, each descended from a different grandchild of a common ancestress, all of whom died from haemorrhage after circumcision. Treves (1903) [23] and most other contemporary writers note that ligation of the frenular arteries is usually not necessary in the neonate and that bleeding can usually be controlled by simple pressure. Indeed it seems that `crush' with a clamp followed by preputial excision rapidly became the template for the operation in babies. As such, the last hundred years has seen the evolution of various crushing and clamping instruments to facilitate the procedure. Doyen (1920) [24] developed his écraseur for use in neonatal circumcision. The foreskin was crushed and cut in four separate manoeuvres with very little concomitant bleeding. He was so impressed with the efficacy of this instrument that he frequently used it for adult circumcisions without (he claimed) the need for additional sutures (Fig. 8a-c).

Fig. 8. (a) the Écraseur of Doyen (1920), with (b) and (c) showing the four-point crushing manoeuvre.

By the 1930s, many circumcision clamps were available for use in the new-born. Indeed, the use of such clamps prompted Thomson-Walker [27] to painstakingly warn of the dangers of injury to the glans when such clamps were used, and not surprisingly, more sophiticated tools were introduced to protect the penis. The prototype of the `Winkelman' was introduced in 1935 and its appearance has changed little today. (Fig. 9). However, concern not only over the dangers of neonatal circumcision, but also of the risks of neonatal anaesthesia lead to the development of the `Plastibell' device by the Hollister company in the 1950s (Fig. 10). Its use was first reported in 1956 [28] and several favourable reports followed [29,30]. With the exception of the occasional proximal migration of the ring [31,32], complications are few and the device remains in widespread popular use today. More recently plastic clamps with integral stell cutting blades have also been introduced [33]. These include instruments such as the Glansguard TM (Fig. 11) and many other clamps, e.g. the Gomco, Bronstein and Mogen variations, are used in different parts of the world.

Fig. 9. The `Winkelman' circumcision clamp. Reproduced with permission of Aescalup Surgical Products.

Fig. 10. The Plastibell TM device.

Alternative procedures

More than 2000 years of Jewish persecution has led to the development of alternative surgical procedures. Indeed, `uncircumcision as a measure to offset the oppression of Jews is cited in the Old Testament (I Maccabees 1:14-15) and surgical attempts to restore the prepuce have been well documented throughout history [17,34,35]. In modern times, this was no more true than during the period of Nazi terror, where clandestine recontructions were commonplace in a desperate attempt by Jewish men to avoid internment [36]. Relics of anti-Semitism are evident throughout history and even the statue of Michelangelo's David (a Jew), which was erected in Florence in 1504 was carved uncircumcised [37] (Fig. 12). Not surprisingly, contemporary operations to `stretch' the circumcised foreskin are recorded in early Renaissance Europe [34]. In more recent surgical times, surgeons were urged to develop alternative procedures to circumcision for men who required surgery for phimosis. Cloquet's `V' excision of the foreskin in 1900 was a popular means to retain a `cloak' of prepuce over the glans, yet still release the phimosis [38] In 1926, Young and Davies [39] described a preputial-plasty whereby a constricting band of the foreskin was incised and then closed by the Heinecke-Mikulicz principle (Fig. 13). Although not widely practised, this procedure has stood the test of time and recently was shown to be superior to circumcision in a comparative study [40].

Fig. 11. The glansguard TM device

Recurrent paraphimosis has long been held to be an indication for circumcision. In most circumstances, it can be reduced by manipulation, and circumcision performed electively later. However, Walsham (1903) [19] recommended an alternative approach whereby acute division of the paraphimotic band was all that was necessary. He suggested that in the presence of such an oedematous prepuce, the phimotic band would heal with less constriction, and that delayed circumcision would not be required (Fig. 14). Young and Davies also described a similar procedure whereby a preputial-plasty was performed on the constricting band during the acute oedematous phase the prepuce was reduced and the need for a circumcision negated (Fig. 15). It is interesting that a `re-invention' of this operation has recently been reported [41].

Understanding the prepuce

It is surprising that despite the many billions of foreskins that have been severed over thousands of years, it is only recently that efforts have been made to understand the prepuce. The first adequate embyrological description of preputial development was published in the 1930s [42]. It was realized that the formation of the preputial space occurred by patch desquamation of the epithelial cells which were contiguous between the glans and the prepuce, a process not necessarily complete by birth [43]. Indeed the first study to address this question was the influential landmark report of Douglas Gairdner in 1949 [44]. He concluded that only 4% of foreskins were fully retractile at birth, yet 90% were so by the age of 3 years. Of these remaining foreskins, most could be rendered retractile by gentle manipulation. Recent studies have suggested that by the age of 17 years, only 1% remain unretractile [45]. However, the importance of Gairdner's paper was that he was one of the first people to ascribe a function to the prepuce. Previous medical texts are notable for their absence of comment and some even describe the prepuce as a vestigial structure [20,21,46]. Gairdner made the astute observations that the slow period of preputial development corresponded with the age of incontinence. He felt that the prepuce had a protective role and noted that meatal ulceration only occurred in circumcised boys. Recently, a doctor writing anonymously in the BMJ provided an analogy suggesting that the prepuce is to the glans what the eyelid is to the eye [47].

Fig. 12. Michelangelo's David, uncircumcised (inset)

Fig. 13. The preputial-plasty of Young and Davies [39].

To date, a more definite function cannot be ascribed to the prepuce, but as an accessible and ready source of fibroblasts, it has become a favourite tissue reservoir for cell-culture biologists and hence basic scientific research. From this wealth of disparate information, it is clear that the foreskin is an androgen-dependent structure [48] with complex intradermal enzyme systems. These confer upon it a wide range of metabolic functions, including the differential metabolism of various prostaglandins which are copiously produced throughout the male and female genital tract [49]. Certainly, it can be anticipated that many other biochemical functions will be defined in the years to come a vestigal structure it almost certainly is not [50].

Fig. 14. The paraphimotic-plasty of Walshame (1903) [19].

Fig. 15. Acute division of the phimotic band in paraphimosis [39].

Notwithstanding the relative disinterest over the function of the prepuce, no other operation has been surrounded by controversy so much as circumcision. Should it be done, then when, why, how and by whom? Religious and cultural influences are pervasive, parental confusion is widespread and medical indications shift with the trends of the day. Doctors divide into camps driven by self-interest, self-righteousness and self-defence. It is not surprising that some of the most colourful pages in the medical literature are devoted to the debate. For instance in 1950, Sir James Spence of Newcastle upon Tyne responded to the request from a local GP as follows:

Literary assaults such as these have served to fuel the debates and even a Medline ® search today reveals that in the last year alone, 155 reviews or letters have been published arguing for or against routine circumcision. However, studying the evolution of the medical indications provides us with a pleasing demonstration of how controversy drives scientific enquiry. We have already described how the surgeons of 100 years ago advocated circumcision for a wide variety of conditions, such as impotence, nocturnal enuresis, sterility, excess masturbation, night terrors, epilepsy, etc. There can be no doubt that a large element of surgical self-interest drove these claims. However, most of the contemporary textbooks also included epithelioma (carcinoma) of the penis amidst the morass of complications of phimosis. Although rare, once this observation had been made, it presumably filtered down through the textbooks by rote, rather than scientific study. A few reports had appeared in the early 20th century indicating that carcinoma of the penis was rare in circumcised men, but not until the debate over neonatal circumcision erupted in the medical press in the 1930s that this surgical `mantra' was put to the test. In 1932, the editor of the Lancet challenged Abraham Wolbarst [52], a New York urologist, to prove his contention (in a previous Lancet editorial), that circumcision prevented penile carcinoma. Wolbarst responded by surveying every skin, cancer and Jewish hospital in the USA, along with 1250 of the largest general hospitals throughout the Union. With this survey, he was able to show that penile cancer virtually never occurred in circumcised men and that the risk related to the timing of the circumcision. Over the years this association has been reaffirmed by many research workers, although general hygiene, demographic and other factors such as human papilloma virus and smoking status are probably just as important [53]. However, Wolbarst established that association through formal scientific enquiry and proponents of the procedure continue to use this as a compelling argument for circumcision at birth.

Almost as an extension to the lack of penile cancer in Jews, Handley [54] reported on the infrequency of carcinoma of the cervix in Jewish women. He suggested that this related to the fact that Jewish men were circumcised. Not surprisingly, this spawned a mass of contradictory studies and over the next 50 years the champions of both camps have sought to establish the importance or irrelevance of circumcision in relation to penile cancer. The pendulum has swung both ways and the current evidence suggests that other factors are probably more important [55,56]. A similar debate has raged for 50 years over concerns for the risks of urinary tract infections in young boys and currently, any decreased risk associated with circumcision remains tentative but not proven [56].

However, during the two World Wars, governments became increasingly interested in reducing the risk of venereal disease amongst their soldiers. Clearly, such pathology can have a profound effect on the efficiency of fighting armis. Indeed, in 1947 the Canadian Army [57] found that whereas 52% of their soldiers had foreskins intact, 77% of those treated for venereal disease were uncircumcised. Persuasive arguments to circumcise all conscripts were proposed. Furthermore, it was an age-old observation, and indigenous African healers had promoted circumcision to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted disease for centuries [58]. As might be expected, the evidence did not withstand further scientific scrutiny and numerous contradictions were provided [56] However, there has recently been startling evidence that HIV infection is significantly associated with the uncircumcised status [59]. Indeed, one author has recently suggested routine neonatal circumcision on a world-wide scale as a long-term strategy for the control of AIDS [60]: a whole new chapter opens in this ancient debate!

Finally, controversy has arisen over who should perform the procedure. Once circumcision had been `medicalized' in the 19th century, many surgeons were keen to take paying customers away from the religious men. As such, doctors were often quick to highlight the unforseen risks attendant on a non-medical procedure. For instance, Cabot (1924) [61] described tuberculosis of the penis occurring when Rabbis with infected sputum sucked on the baby's penis to stop the bleeding. However, it has often been claimed that the incidence of complications in Jewish children is very low and that the final result is usually better than any hospital doctor can produce [62, 63]. Naturally, quality control is variable and whereas not all commentators have had such respect for the religious men [64,65], others have been quick to indicate the sub-optimal results frequently obtained in hospital [29]. Not surprisingly, disastrous accounts damning practitioners from all quarters have embellished the literature on countless occasions. Irrespective, the circumcision of young boys has become a thriving business for all parties [66].

However, with a healthcare budget of $140 million per year in the USA (1990) [67], insurance companies eventually forced closer scrutiny. Following such pressure, the first Task Force of Neonatal Circumcision from the American Academy of Pediatrics (1n 1975) concluded that there was no valid medical indication for this procedure [68]. However, the pro-circumcision lobby was strong and the task force was forced to re-evaluate. In 1989, they conceded that there may be certain advantages to neonatal circumcision, although their recommendations did stop short of advising routine operation [56]. Similar pressures in the UK have now resulted in only certain Health Authorities being prepared to pay for the procedure. These tend to be in regions with large ethnic minorities who otherwise may suffer form `back street' circumcisions [62, 64].

Thus it is clear that medical trends are now being driven by financial constraints. Perhaps this is reflected by the dramatic decline in the number of non-religious circumcisions performed over the last half century in the USA an estimated 80% of boys were circumcised in 1976 [69] but by 1981 this had fallew to 61% [67], and recent estimates suggest that this decrease continues [70]. In the UK the decline has been even more dramatic: originally more common in the upper classes [44], circumcision rates fell from 30% in 1939 to 20% in 1949 and 10% by 1963. By 1975 only 6% of British schoolboys were circumcised [71] and this may well have declined further [63]. Whether this general trend reflects a tempering of attitudes towards the persuasive medical rhetoric that has simmered for the past 100 years, or whether financial considerations have dampened enthusiasm, is unknown. Perhaps the First World cultures are witnessing an escape from the medical paternalism that has gripped them for so long, or even that the age-old ritual is simply no longer fashionable in modern peoples again, it is unknown. However, whatever the current trend, ebbing or flowing, we can be sure that the controversies of circumcision will continue to colour the medical literature, far into the future.

Many historical accounts of circumcision have been written and most authors have used their survey to form an opinion as to whether the neonatal procedure is justified. The weak medical arguments are tempered by the importance of cultural and religious factors. In truth, the real reasons why circumcision has evolved are much broader. Opponents of the ritual draw attention to the `rights' of the new-born, which, they argue, mut be upheld [66]. Others contest that humans are social animals and cannot survive alone they require their parents, community and culture to thrive, and, as such, `rights' belong to the group, not to the individual. If there is an inherent survival advantage to a group of humans who chose to maim their young, then this is presumably evidenced by their continued survival as a race [11]. In short, to conclude any historical reflection with a reasoned `right' or `wrong', would be like claiming to have fathomed human nature itself. Consider this mankind has developed this strange surgical signature that is so pervasive, that in the last five minutes alone, another 120 boys throughout the world have been circumcised.


Mirroring the metaphorical representation of the group as a twelve-legged spider, the Phantom Troupe is composed of 13 members, one "head" and 12 "legs". ⎖] All the "legs" are equal in ranking and decisional power, and tasks are assigned based on each member's individual skills or volunteering. ⎘] The "head" is the leader, whose orders are to be considered the utmost priority however, their life is not, since even the "head" can be replaced. The "legs" are expected to always adhere to the governing principle that the prosperity of the group as a whole trumps the survival of any one of its individuals, even taking matters into their own hands should the interests of the group and of the "head" clash. ⎖] In Chrollo's case, however, several members had come to be so reliant on him that his life was in fact elevated to the status of priority of the group. ⎙]

The Phantom Troupe does not assemble frequently but gathers at the "head"'s request, which can be discretionary or mandatory. Skipping a mandatory meeting could result in a "leg" being punished by the "head". ⎚] Only the "head" has the authority to add new members, although a "leg" can recommend candidates they deem suitable. ⎛] Defeating a current member is a viable way to replace them, which may not be subjected to the "head"'s approval. Γ]

Other than following the "head"'s directives, there are no specific lines of conduct that "legs" are expected to follow. Although some members believe buying and bidding to be against the ways of the group, ⎜] others have no qualms about resorting to legal, non-violent channels and transactions, ⎚] with at least two of them becoming Hunters for the associated benefits. ⎝] ⎞] It has been noted that two "legs" are always by the "head"'s side when the Phantom Troupe gathers, but it is unknown if that is an official rule. Γ]

Positions and Roles

Phantom Troupe members are assigned to or volunteer for certain activities in the group based on their aptitude. ⎘]

  • Boss (団長, "Leader"): The leader of the Phantom Troupe. Currently held by Chrollo Lucilfer.
  • Acting Leader (団長代理, "Leader Substitute"): The interim leader of the Spiders when the leader is absent. This position was granted to whoever killed Zazan first. ⎟] Formerly held by Feitan Portor. ⎠]
  • Commando Team (特攻 ⎘] or 実行部隊, Ζ] "Vanguard/Attack Squad" or "Execution Squad"): Volunteers for this unit are frontline fighters. One of their main responsibilities consists in protecting the recon and cleanup groups. Formerly held by Nobunaga Hazama and Uvogin ⎘] currently held by Nobunaga Hazama, Phinks Magcub, and Feitan Portor. Ζ]
  • Recon (情報, "Intelligence"): Members in charge of information gathering. Formerly held by Shalnark and Pakunoda. ⎘]
  • Cleanup (処理部隊, "Disposing Squad"): Members in charge of removing the evidence of the group's criminal activity. Currently held by Shizuku. ⎘]

Coin Tossing

Heads side of the Spider coin

Tails side of the Spider coin

Serious fights are prohibited among Phantom Troupe members. Since no "leg" outranks another, if a clash of opinions cannot be solved through discussion, coin tossing is used to settle the quarrel. ⎛] However, disputes solved by the coin are only between two legs and not multiple. ⎡] The coin used is custom-made, the heads side sporting the group's signature twelve-legged spider, and the tails side depicting a spider's web.

Tattoo

Uvogin's numbered 11 Spider tattoo

Members of the Phantom Troupe, with the possible exception of Chrollo, sport a tattoo of a twelve-legged spider somewhere on their body. Inside the spider, there is a number, ranging from 1 to 12 for the "legs", which differs for each member. ⎘] It is unknown how these numbers are assigned. Although the twelve-legged spider is instantly recognizable as the symbol of the Troupe, the fact it is numbered is not as widely known. Β]


A brief history of Trump's small-time swindles

Illustrated | Andrew Harrer/Getty Images, panic_attack/iStock

President Trump has long claimed to be a fierce defender of the "forgotten" American. In his unsettlingly dark inauguration address, for example, Trump declared: "The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. . And I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down."

But Trump has long made a career of letting down just these sorts of Americans.

Despite his fiery rally rhetoric and over-the-top working-class bluster, Trump's hypocrisy on this score has always been gobsmackingly obvious, since in his former life as a real estate tycoon he left a long trail of small businesses and independent contractors feeling bilked or burned.

Granted, fights between developers and contractors over payments are not uncommon in the construction and real estate business. But consultants and lawyers in the industry say that Trump's tactics — like using last-minute excuses to either refuse payment or renegotiate terms — were especially cutthroat and petty.

Let's take a brief (and hardly comprehensive) tour of some of the Americans left burned by the president.

1. Trump's personal driver

This is the latest entry in Trump's ledger: Noel Cintron, 59, says he worked as a chauffeur for Trump and his family for 25 years. On top of a mammoth unpaid overtime bill — 3,300 hours in the last six years — Cintron says he only got a raise twice after 2003: to $68,000 in 2006, and then to $75,000 in 2010. The second bump came with a requirement that Cintron give up his health benefits. All told, Cintron is suing Trump for at least $350,000 in damages.

2. A Philadelphia cabinet maker

Edward Friel Jr. owned a family business that harked back to the 1940s. During the Atlantic City boom four decades later, he landed a $400,000 contract to make slot machines, bars, desks, and other furniture for Harrah's at Trump Plaza. But Trump refused to pay the final bill of around $84,000. Friel's son suspected that Trump also used his clout in the industry to block the company from getting other Atlantic City contracts. Friel had to file for bankruptcy a few years later.

3. A paint seller and event workers in Florida

After putting in long hours for a special event at Trump National Doral, a Miami resort, 48 servers had to sue for unpaid overtime. The settlements averaged around $800 per worker, but went as high as $3,000 in one case. On top of that, a paint shop owner named Juan Carlos Enriquez also sued Trump's business, claiming he never got the final payment for a paint shipment to the same resort. In 2017, after a three-year legal fight, a court found in Enriquez's favor, and ordered Trump's company to pay the final $32,000, plus $300,000 in legal fees.

4. A drapery business in Las Vegas

Back in 2007, Larry Walters got an order for over $700,000 of curtains, pillow covers, and bedspreads for Trump's hotel in Sin City. Walters said additional orders grew the job to $1.2 million, but the developer, a joint venture LLC called Trump Ruffin, only paid $553,000. Eventually, Walters responded by halting work and keeping the remaining fabric as collateral. Trump Ruffin sued, and sheriff's deputies actually showed up at Walters' business to take the fabric away. Knowing they could drag the legal fight out, Walters eventually settled for $823,000 — about $380,000 short of what he said he was owed. He closed the business in 2011.

According to court records, Walters never had a dispute with any other client.

5. A toilet maker in Atlantic City

It was 1988 when Forest Jenkins won a $200,000 contract to install toilet partitions at Trump's Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. For a modest business like Jenkins', it was a huge score. But thanks to the enormous debts Trump built up, the casino went belly up just a few years later, and the payment never came. After years of fighting in bankruptcy court, Jenkins only got $70,000 back, and was nearly ruined in the process. According to CNN, dozens of other contractors on the project went through the same ordeal.

There's plenty more, like the jewelry store owner who was strong-armed out of his kiosk in Trump Tower, or the West Palm Beach chandelier company that Trump sued to avoid paying half of a $34,000 bill. Even lawyers who helped Trump in his fights with contractors later got into payment fights with Trump himself.

Of course, not everyone who ever worked with Trump is unhappy, and he's won plenty of his legal fights. Reuters looked at over 50 court cases and liens related to Trump projects: "The majority said they were paid in full and happy to work for him but at least a dozen said they had been left out of pocket or had watched as other contractors were short-changed." A far more sweeping investigation by USA Today found Trump was involved in over 3,500 lawsuits during the last three decades. "At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings" were from contractors claiming they got stiffed. USA Today also found "24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage."

Trump says this is just business. "Let's say that they do a job that's not good, or a job that they didn't finish, or a job that was way late. I'll deduct from their contract, absolutely," Trump once said. As for Noel Cintron, Trump's longtime driver, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said he was always "paid generously and in accordance with the law. Once the facts come out we expect to be fully vindicated in court."

With these sorts of disputes, who you believe often comes down to whose integrity, honor, and moral character you have more faith in.

As to how Trump stacks up on those metrics, I leave it to readers to judge.


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